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Workplace Engagement InsightsLatest Employee Engagement NewsWhat Is the Company Culture when You’re Not in the Room?

What Is the Company Culture when You’re Not in the Room?


I recall many years ago advising a boss of mine to not make branch visits a “royal tour”. If you really want to see how the branch or front-line employees behave, arrive unannounced.

We have all gone on a visit to our employees, but many of us made the mistake of announcing our trip ahead of time.

Do you know what happens? When we show up, the place is spotless, the staff all well-dressed, all the brochure racks perfectly set out, all the posters in the windows, and the coffee is fresh.

Is this the branch that our customers see every day? Is it the working environment our employees experience every day? We will never know.

Employee EngagementWhen I started making visits unannounced, it made a huge difference in how well I was able to get a feel for the “vibe” in the workplace.

I also recently visited a call center business run by a long-time friend and colleague; the buzz in the place was palpable. I did not greet a single person who wasn’t genuinely happy and friendly. That says a lot about the workplace culture.

My first test is always reception. If a company really wants to send a strong message to customers/clients, have a really great person at reception. You only get one chance to make a great first impression.

I encourage you to read this article by Jim Bohn, “Organizational Awareness: The Seventh Sense of Leadership”. It’s a great one for leaders to read and understand. 

Take Jim’s tips to heart and learn how to read the “vibe” – but more importantly, stop announcing your visit. You will be rewarded with real-time impressions.

Want to know what employees are really thinking? Do an engagement survey and follow clear steps in rolling out the results. Contact me for a complimentary initial consultation!

Start engaging your employees right away. Get access to my FREE cheatsheet for improving employee engagement in just 10 minutes!

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Written by Dwight Lacey

Dwight Lacey

Dwight is the President at Workplace Engagement Insights. He leads Workplace Engagement Insights with a clear understanding of the latest employee engagement research, survey best practices, and leadership styles that create successful businesses.

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